Connecticut’s winters may make you want to bundle up and hibernate until spring but ignore your initial urges as there are numerous fun activities and events that only take place in the winter! Winter is the best time to explore craft sales, enjoy light tours and experience the thrill of a live hockey game. Here are the 15 best activities to do in the winter in the Nutmeg State.
Join Mystic for a unique parade of boats decorated with Christmas lights sailing down the Mystic River. At the close of the parade, Santa Claus rides by in a tugboat! The festivities start at the Mystic River Park, with the boat parade starting later in the evening. Following the parade is a contest where judges vote on the best boat in several different categories.
Restaurant weeks are taking Connecticut by storm and many towns are highlighting local restaurants with special deals and events. Heat up in the dead of winter with some soul warming food at the Taste of Middlesex County Restaurant Week. Participating restaurants will create special three-course meals for patrons for just over $20 per person. This year, there are over 20 restaurants participating, so you are sure to have a delectable meal out!
If you like searching markets for special handmade gifts to take home, visit the Brookfield Craft Center this winter. Enjoy the wide selection of Christmas ornaments, wooden items, jewelry, pottery, and more. The Holiday Craft Sale has been taking place for over 40 years now, and features numerous local and national artists and crafters.
Mystic Seaport is hosting their annual Lantern Light Tours this year. The Lantern Light Tours are a magical way to see the historic Mystic Seaport at night, while at the same time enjoying a memorable performance. Actors recreate Christmas Eve in 1876 with a whimsical storyline inspired by The Nutcracker.
Head to Mohegan Sun to enjoy the annual Sun Wine and Food Fest from this winter. At this delicious festival, you'll be able to select from 1,000 different kids of wines, craft beers, and hard alcohol. Additionally, numerous famous chefs that you may know from the Food Network television channel are hosting events including a tantalizing brunch with Mario Batali. Other events include a bourbon tasting, Mexican night, and more. Prices and ticketing information is available on the website.
Need an educational yet fun activity to entertain your children during February break from school? The incredible Yale Peabody Museum hosts a two-day vacation camp for third through sixth grade students. During the camp, students interact with museum exhibits and work with the Peabody's staff to learn about everything from extinct dinosaurs to different minerals.
Winter is the time to get active in Connecticut, so grab your gear and head to Powder Ridge. Enjoy tubing, snowboarding, and skiing at Connecticut's favorite park. If you've never been skiing before, why not learn at Powder Ridge by taking lessons from one of their trained professionals.
Still haven't found the perfect gift to go under your tree? Check out Litchfield's high-end art, crafts and estate sale. At this sale, you'll find antiques, home décor, fashion, and crafts. Some estate pieces are coming from the collections of Anthony Haden-Guest, Amy and Milton Greene, and Bruce Willis.
The Connecticut Flower and Garden Show will take at the Connecticut Convention Center. If you have a green thumb or would add some specialty roses, dahlias, sunflowers, and more for your garden, this is the event to attend. This year, there will be over 300 booths selling flowers, herbs, seeds, books, and gardening equipment. Additionally, Mar Jennings will be in attendance!
Watch the American Hockey League's (AHL) Bridgeport Sound Tigers face off against the Hartford Wolf Pack in a stick slapping hockey game this winter. Enjoy the excitement while Connecticut's hockey teams take to the ice to battle against each other. You'll never know who will come out on top!
Did watching the competitive hockey game make you want to strap on skates of your own? Rent skates for $5 or take yours for a spin on the ice at Wonderland of Ice. Public skating is available almost every day of the week, except holidays. Adults cost $7 and kids under 12 cost $5 during public skating times. At Wonderland of Ice, you can also take skating lessons or play hockey.
Ring in the New Year with a celebration at the Mystic Yachting Center. The event is catered with delicious food for the evening as you enjoy panoramic views of the Mystic River. Local live bands should be expected as well.
There is no need to brave the crowds at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, as Connecticut boasts one of the larges helium balloon parades in the U.S. Arrive in Stamford early and find a spot along Summer Street, Broad Street, or Atlantic Street to enjoy a parade of helium balloons, marching bands, and cheerleaders.
Enjoy Toddler Tuesdays, a recurring event taking place every Tuesday in November at Mystic Aquarium. Events vary from week to week, but you can expect to enjoy some quality time with your toddler while surrounded by majestic marine animals. There are toddler-specific activities that include a safari on bikes or a tea party with a turtle or tortoise.
Learn to ski or teach your children to ski at Ski Sundown. This small slope is great for beginners and there is a ski school right at hand. If you don't want to hit the slopes, enjoy the lounge at Ski Sundown.